29th December

FJ Williams Profile Picture
FJW 1955-2007
CH Williams Profile Picture
CHW 2015-
JC Williams Profile Picture
JCW 1897-1939
C Williams Profile Picture
CW 1940-1955

2020 – CHW

Blustery but less cold.

Camellia x williamsii ‘Rosemary Williams’ has survived the gales.

Camellia x williamsii ‘Rosemary Williams’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Rosemary Williams’
Camellia cuspidata now full out in the Rookery. Only one plant. The rest are just starting.
Camellia cuspidata
Camellia cuspidata
Camellia cuspidata
Camellia cuspidata
A huge beech tree has split out above the Green Gate and fallen mainly downwards towards the castle squashing most of our new plantings along the way. Two good magnolias under the debris and several clumps of hydrangeas which may survive. We cannot clear this up until February if the shooting season does indeed continue without Lockdown 3. The fallen branches were full of pheasants drying off today. One branch fell a week ago and the big lot last night or the night before. Not perhaps odd that we did not hear it in the gales and thunder.
beech tree
beech tree
beech tree
beech tree
The London plane (Platanus x acerifolia) next to the fallen beech has survived with just a few missing smaller branches high up. Our only mature P. x acerifolia which Hillier’s now calls Platanus x hispanica I see. Another name change after a lifetime of calling it something different.
Platanus x acerifolia
Platanus x acerifolia
Camellia ‘Show Girl’ is full out and rather good despite the recent weather.
Camellia ‘Show Girl’
Camellia ‘Show Girl’
Camellia ‘Show Girl’
Camellia ‘Show Girl’
Camellia ‘Show Girl’
Camellia ‘Show Girl’
First flower on Camellia reticulata ‘Captain Rawes’ right at the top of the plant – 15-18ft.
Camellia reticulata ‘Captain Rawes’
Camellia reticulata ‘Captain Rawes’
Loads of primroses starting to appear and the leaf growth has been considerable in the last week despite the cold and sleet.
primroses
primroses
The fallen beech as seen from the front lawn. Hard to make out but a week’s work to clear up the huge mess I expect. Ought we to fell more of these elderly and over mature beeches (than we already have) to avoid more annual disasters like this?
fallen beech
fallen beech

2019 – CHW
An overcast but warmish day.First two primroses in flower opposite the front door. I had to look quite hard as a cock pheasant has been eating them.

primroses
primroses
primroses
primroses
Completely unnoticed and despite frequent checking Rhododendron mucronulatum has suddenly sprung into flower. A good dark colour this year in a frost free time. Wonderful show.
Rhododendron mucronulatum
Rhododendron mucronulatum
Rhododendron mucronulatum
Rhododendron mucronulatum
Rhododendron mucronulatum
Rhododendron mucronulatum
Camellia x hiemalis ‘Yuletide’ is also just out rather after the event itself. A brilliant red none the less.
Camellia x hiemalis ‘Yuletide’
Camellia x hiemalis ‘Yuletide’
Camellia x hiemalis ‘Yuletide’
Camellia x hiemalis ‘Yuletide’
More pictures of what we now think is Cotoneaster glabratus. Leaf undersides, berries, bark on trunk and mature bark on a sucker. A full set to prove it as far as I can see in the reference books.
Cotoneaster glabratus
Cotoneaster glabratus
Cotoneaster glabratus
Cotoneaster glabratus
Cotoneaster glabratus
Cotoneaster glabratus
Cotoneaster glabratus
Cotoneaster glabratus
Cotoneaster glabratus
Cotoneaster glabratus
Cotoneaster glabratus
Cotoneaster glabratus

2018 – CHW
Sophora japonica ‘Sun King’ has a fat crop of flower buds developing. We lost three of these in cold winds by the Playhouse in 2012 but this plant is well protected at the top of the garden.
Sophora japonica ‘Sun King’
Sophora japonica ‘Sun King’
Sophora japonica ‘Sun King’
Sophora japonica ‘Sun King’
First flower on Camellia ‘Salutation’ (Camellia reticulata x Camellia saluenensis) which was raised at Borde Hill whose gardens we plan to visit in early May.
Camellia ‘Salutation’
Camellia ‘Salutation’
First couple of flowers on Camellia ‘Mary Costa’ out today. Rather small and poor examples.
Camellia ‘Mary Costa’
Camellia ‘Mary Costa’

2017 – CHW
Reports of a ‘large’ tree blown over near the top lodge prove to be not that exciting. It is only yet another of our 10 to 12 year old specimen ilex oaks which has gone over in today’s filthy gales and rain.
ilex oaks
ilex oaks
Another ilex oak has been uprooted next door to it. Never plant large specimen trees for quick effect in such a windy north facing site!
ilex oak
ilex oak
The Camellia ‘Winton’ clump looks a bit battered but has survived the gales and hail.
Camellia ‘Winton’
Camellia ‘Winton’
Camellia ‘Winton’
Camellia ‘Winton’
Camellia ‘Winton’
Camellia ‘Winton’
Fortunately Rhododendron ‘Winter Intruder’ nearby is still in tight bud.
Rhododendron ‘Winter Intruder’
Rhododendron ‘Winter Intruder’
Rhododendron ‘Winter Intruder’
Rhododendron ‘Winter Intruder’
2016 – CHW
Camellia x williamsii ‘George Blandford’ is now full out in the sun. George’s ashes were scattered underneath the bush 45 or so years ago. Almost a hint of blue in the petals and a different shape to ‘Caerhays’ which is not out yet.
Camellia x williamsii ‘George Blandford’
Camellia x williamsii ‘George Blandford’
Camellia x williamsii ‘George Blandford’
Camellia x williamsii ‘George Blandford’
Camellia x williamsii ‘George Blandford’
Camellia x williamsii ‘George Blandford’
Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’ has held a flower or three out for several weeks. Not sure if this is a secondary flowering from the autumn or an early arrival but assume the former.
Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’
Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’
Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’
Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’
Rabbit nibbling on two low branches on a magnolia by Georges Hut. The plant is mature enough here to withstand the damage but nasty and potentially fatal in a smaller plant.
Rabbit nibbling
Rabbit nibbling
Rabbit nibbling
Rabbit nibbling
Last year the Michelia doltsopas were showing colour by now but not this year.
Michelia doltsopas
Michelia doltsopas
Michelia doltsopas
Michelia doltsopas
A flower or two, as last year, on Eucryphia lucida ‘Pink Cloud’. This plant has an endless flowering season.
Eucryphia lucida ‘Pink Cloud’
Eucryphia lucida ‘Pink Cloud’
A very black cock pheasant by Tin Garden.
very black cock pheasant
very black cock pheasant
The evergreen azaleas in Kennel Close have a winter garb which glows red in the sun.
evergreen azaleas
evergreen azaleas

2015 – CHW

Magnolia ‘Betty Jessel’ still has nearly all its leaves on!

Magnolia ‘Betty Jessel’
Magnolia ‘Betty Jessel’

Nearby a young Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’ which I photographed six weeks ago with what I thought was a secondary flower or two has now lost its buds although old seed pods remain. So it actually tried to come out in December and got its spring show blown and rained away. It looks like frost damage but we have not had any!

How much more bonkers is this season going to get and will we yet pay for it?

2003 – FJW
First frost of winter – not much – [Camellia sasanqua] ‘Winter Intruder’ at its best.

2000 – FJW
Snow started 9.55am – first sizeable fall for some years.

1998 – FJW
R. John Williams killed 5 pheasants and a woodcock at Slyde Park with 4.10

1996 – FJW
A very late year. Dry cold December – gradually increasing frosts. No flowers on Noblissima.

1950 – CW
A lot of snow and frost lately and very little out bar camellias. Flowers of Taliensis brown when opened but buds open well in water.. Fuchsias all gone. Some of the young shoots of Cam sasanqua brown – Taliensis not touched. Camellia saluenensis out in several places.

1947 – CW
Mucronulatum and Nobleanum out also 3 or 4 of the Sutchuenense hybrids, bits of Yellow Hammer and Golden Oriole and Moupinense. Hamamelis only beginning. Camellia Double white been out 2 weeks and the first J.C.W bud (opening) picked today. Oleifera very good still. Bits is Cam sasanqua left. Pink Saluenensis by Tin Garden good and other bits beginning. A few lapagerias. No fuchsias.

1942 – CW
Rho mucronulatum very good. Nobleanum also. Several other small bits and the Rookery Sutchuenense Arboreum out. Hamamelis at its best but Cam oleifera the best thing now. Several of the hybrids good and the Engine House double white out. Some fuchsias and lapagerias out also [?]Ballsing.

1925 – JCW
Hamamelis mollis are very fine indeed, very little else, but there are small bits of rhodo’s out just as usual.

1918 – JCW
Aconite showing. Snowdrop.

1902 – JCW
A great move in the two and three year old daffs during the week.